After more than 3 years of speculation, the English coach builder Aston Martin unveiled the Rapide - their first four door sedan in the super car maker’s lineup.

The Rapide’s engine is the venerable 6.0 Liter V12 lifted directly from the Aston Martin DB9 , and makes the exact same 470 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque as the coupe. The fat four door goes from 0 to 60 MPH in just 5.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 188 MPH.

The Rapide’s power plant is mated to a six speed Touchtronic 2 automatic transmission, which offers the ease of a traditional automatic via the push buttons mounted on the dash or a much sportier manual transmission mode with the wheel mounted paddle shifters.

According to the automaker: "There is a real sense of proportion with this car, akin to a tailored suit; the new double grill gives more presence on the road while the iconic signature side strake has been lengthened through to the rear doors to enhance its lateral proportions in a subtle, yet elegant way. The car’s purity makes it look right from every angle."

Updated 01/14/2011: Aston Martin will be launching a series of innovative new films designed to showcase the marque’s four-door Rapide. Part One is now ready for your viewing enjoyment!

Updated 01/20/2011: Aston Martin has released today the second part of their new promotional series of films featuring the Rapide sedan. The new video is called "True Power Should Be Shared" and its even more impressive than the first part, so enjoy!

Updated 01/27/2011: The third - and a little Bond-esque - episode of the new Rapide promotional film has been revealed by the company. Its message: "Time is precious. Share it wisely in the new four door Rapide." Yes, Aston, we believe everyone should get a turn in the Rapide. Why not send us one and we’ll give it a go? Check out the video to see what we mean.

Read more on the Aston Martin Rapide after the jump.

American off-road racing legend, Mickey Thompson, made his way to Las Vegas with a project of his own to show off the Ford F-150 at the 2010 SEMA Auto Show. His rendition of the super truck looked better than ever with an exterior package boasting of power steps and a bed step, power sliding rear windows, professional detailing, fender flares and vent guards, Bead liner, custom Black/Grey Satin "Camo" Paint & Graphics, auxiliary lighting, billet grille, Stobe lighting system, and an E-Series electronic retractable truck bed cover. Finishing off the exterior look is a new set of Baja Claw TTC Radical tires that bear his name.

The package also includes a Fabtech 6-inch suspension, PIAA auxiliary lighting, and Warn Industries winch recovery gear. The rear look is completed by a new Intake and Cat-Back exhaust system.

For the interior, Mickey Thompson opted for Katzkin leather and an aftermarket audio, video, and navigation enhancements. For additional utility, the truck features a BedSlide cargo management system and AMP Research power steps.

Airhead Kustoms, along with Cars by Kris, have displayed the Pit Boss at the 2010 SEMA Auto Show. The Boss is the ultimate tow and support vehicle built off of a 2011 Ford F-350 Super Duty platform. Built to haul a race car to the track and serve as a mobile pit, the truck offers a bed-mounted tire cage and custom swing-case toolboxes.

Next to the impressive exterior package, the Pit Boss package also features a Snow Performance water/methanol injection system, Nitrous Express diesel nitrous system, and an AFE Power cold air intake that no doubt bump up the the power of this rugged machine. There is also a DJM Suspension setup, Hellwig anti-roll bars, and Firestone Ride-Rite air helper springs to control the added brawn.

Moving into the interior, the tuners added a custom headliner and leather upholstery, along with sound-deadening material and an in-dash computer system that can offer the driver and its passengers lots of info and entertainment during the ride.

The new Ford Fiesta may have just been launched recently, but the little hatchback has still had plenty of time to make quite an impression on the American market. That being said, it’s no wonder that The Fiesta was one of the most tuned models at the 2010 SEMA Show . One of the packages offered came in with 3dCarbon, who have designed the perfect car for the sport compact enthusiast.

Their package features a race-inspired styling, which includes 3dCarbon racing stripes, window films, and rear roof spoiler. A four-piece body kit consists of an aggressively sculpted front air dam, aerodynamic side skirts, and a rear lower skirt accented with black trim. All kit components are manufactured in flexible, high-pressure polyurethane and will require prepping, priming, and painting prior to installation.

Painted in green, with two racing stripes and a new set of wheels, the 3d Carbon Fiesta features innovative styling with its dynamic lines that exude eye-catching youthful confidence.

While the BMW Concept 6-Series Coupe was wowing the audience at the LA Auto Show, the Bavarian automaker snuck out of the back door and released the official details on the new 2012 BMW 650i Convertible .

Scheduled to go on sale in the Spring of 2011 as a 2012 model for the United States, the 650i Convertible was introduced in a rather low-key kind of way, un-BMW –like if we do say so ourselves.

At first glance, the 650i Convertible looks to have taken in the look of the Concept 6-Series Coupe, not surprising if you know that the completely redesigned fascia of the vehicle runs on the entire family tree of the 6-Series. And while they do share some similarities, particularly in the overall design and make-up of the cars, the two vehicles do have their own differences, with the most glaring and obvious of which is that the 650i Convertible has a soft roof top, compared to the hard-top 6-Series Coupe.

There’s more to be learned about the 650i Convertible that BMW has yet to tell us. But we’re optimistic that given the short turnaround between introduction and release in the spring of 2011, we’re confident that BMW will give us all the necessary information we need of the 650i Convertible soon enough.

Update 01/10/2011: BMW has announced pricing for the 650i Convertible at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. The convertible will go on sale at a price of $91,375.

Update 04/04/2011: BMW Australia has announced today prices for the new 6-Series Convertible that will go on sale on 29 May. Pricing starts at $194,300 (or about $201,000 US at the current exchange rates) for the 640i six-cylinder in-line TwinPower Turbo petrol engine and $248,300 ($257,000 US) for the 650i V8 TwinPower Turbo petrol engine.

It seems that Lotus was pretty busy this year before the Paris Auto Show. Next to the new generation Esprit , Lotus will also bring the new Elise that will go on sale in 2015 at a price of £35,000 ($55,000 at the current exchange rates).

The 2015 Elise was rumored to be powered by a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine delivering a total of 320 HP and 330 NM of torque. However, since the company’s announcement of an in-house developed V8 engine, more rumors are circulating about what will be found under the hood of the next gen Elise. These whispers are hinting that the V8 engine is serving as inspiration for a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that will be used for the Elise replacement set to be launched in 2014. Whichever engine makes its way under the Elise’s hood, it will probably be mated to the new start-stop technology. The goal is to make the Elise hit the 0 to 60 mph mark in 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 167 mph.

"The Elise you can buy now is still a fantastic car, make no mistake, Lotus remain very proud of it, but this is a natural progression for us moving forward. The Elise 2015 will also be class-leading in terms of performance and efficiency but it will do more than that it will take the Elise model to the forefront of its class across the board. The design of the Elise 2015 is perfect for the target market, it’s young, strong, confident, verging on ruthless, it mirrors the engineering and technology. It’s the next generation Elise for a new generation of Lotus drivers."

Press release after the jump.

After we saw the Lexus LF-Ch concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, a model that would compete head to head with other luxury compacts like the BMW 1 Series and the Audi A3 being offered exclusively as a hybrid.

The Lexus LF-Ch concept combined stylish design cues with full hybrid drive train in a practical 5 door compact package that would fulfill the needs of even the most demanding of premium compact customers with its bolder Lexus Lexus grill sitting atop a deep, bulging front bumper complete with a trio of intakes giving it a perfect balance of both precision and power. While the sharply sculpted, aerodynamic front fenders flow into the front bumper to create a wide set of arches and a deep set of brake cooling ducts that give the LF-Ch a powerful and purposeful stance.

The CT 200h’s full hybrid system combines a 134 HP 1.8 liter VVT-i petrol engine, a powerful electric motor, a generator, a high performance battery, a power control unit, and a power split device which employs a planetary gear set to combine and re-allocate power from the engine, electric motor and generator according to operational requirements.

The car will make its world debut next week at the Geneva Motor Show and will enter production at the end of 2010.

PRICING UPDATE 12/15/10:Lexus has finally released the US pricing for the 2011 CT 200h. The base price for the CT 200h will be $29,120 and, depending on what optional features you want, could go all the way up to $30,900. Optional packages are also available depending on what options you get. The Premium Audio Package has a price of $1,125; the same package with the addition of a backup camera will cost you $1,475. The leather interior package will cost $1,330, while the satellite navigation package will cost $2,445. Finally, Lexus is also offering a package consisting of a Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Cruise Control for $1,215.

UPDATE 12/18/2010: Lexus continues its Pursuit of Perfection with a new video for the CT 200h. Check it out by clicking on the picture above!

Press release after the jump.

The Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond may be all fun and jokes in front of the camera, but despite their cunning wit and silly banter, these three all share a unique similarity: they know everything and anything there is to know about cars.

When they say a car is good or bad, their opinions carry more clout than the standard human because they’ve done their homework through countless hours of testing, free drives, and taped segments on the show. And now that we’re nearing the end of an amazingly eventful year, the trio have decided to finally release their choice of vehicles that will be included in the 11th Top Gear Awards.

With categories ranging from Hypercar of the Year, Grand Tourer of the Year, Coupe of the Year, and even Engine of the Year, the three hosts took everything they’ve seen, heard, and driven in 2010 to come up with a winner for each respective category.

In addition to these categories, Clarkson, May, and Hammond also picked their favorite cars of the year regardless of make, model, and type. Care to find out the award winners?

Check them out after the jump.

Source: Top Gear

BMW has unveiled the second generation X3 SUV in 2010 at the Paris Auto Show. The model has received a new exterior and interior, but also improved engines. And only after one year of production BMW has decided to add another two new models to the line-up: BMW X3 xDrive20i and the BMW X3 xDrive35d. The two new versions will be put on sale in the autumn of 2011.

On the exterior the second generation X3 has received a forward-slanting BMW kidney grille, a large headlight assembly, a powerful-looking front apron, and a bonnet boasting six contour lines sweeping down to meet at the kidney grill. The new X3 will also feature chromed trims on the sides, powerfully flared wheel arches, and taillights with a distinctive T shape. The interior is defined by a generous and variable spatial concept, high-grade materials, and a characteristic three-dimensional surface design.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2011-2012 BMW X3.

Ferrari has unveiled a special California at the Paris Auto Show. What makes it so special is a new HELE (High Emotion Low Emissions) system designed to reduce the environmental impact of its cars whilst boosting their performance and driving pleasure. With the use of the new HELE system, California delivers an emission improved by 23%.

HELE incorporates new intelligent engine fan and fuel pump control, electronic air-conditioning compressor displacement control and a gear-shift pattern that adapts to driving style. Next to it Ferrari is also offering the Stop&Start system which restarts the car in just 230 milliseconds.

Next to this amazing system Ferrari is also offering its customers the possibility to customize their California. Clients will be able to choose from four traditional areas: Racing and Track, Exteriors and Colors, Interiors and Materials, and Equipment and Travel. Options include: 16 basic colors, 19” wheel rims or sportier forged 20” versions with either colored or diamond finish, carbon fiber elements, leather, Alcantara® upholstery or any of a wide range of carbon-fiber trim elements.

Updated 12/03/2010: Ferrari has unveiled a new video in which they explain how the new HELE system works. For those uninterested in the technology behind the vehicle, you can always check out the video to see a few more shots of the California. Enjoy!

Press release after the jump.

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